August 12, 2013
PC Class races on Continental wet tires
For the first time in 2013, the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) raced in the rain. Rain moved over Road America just prior to the race leaving a wet 4.048-mile road course for teams to navigate. The Prototype Challenge (PC) class was given their first opportunity to race on Continental’s wet tire compound and reviews were great.
“None of us have really run on the rain tires, the Continental rain tires yet, this whole year,” said David Cheng, driver of the No. 52 PR1/Mathaisen Motorsports ORECA FLM09.“Coming here, the Continental tires were great.They gave us a lot of grip and it was actually very smooth.I was able to get the car just a little bit sideways like I was describing but I still kept the car under me.”
The race surface quickly dried out and one at a time, PC teams came down pit road to make the switch from wet to slick tires.With some teams out of pit sequence, the PC lead changed several times between the No. 05 CORE autosport machine and the No. 18 Visit Forida ORECA FLM09 among others.A late race pit stop for Continental tires and fuel put leader Colin Braun deep in the PC field with the No. 05 CORE autosport car and left rookie, Tristan Nunez, in the lead.
Soon after, Nunez came down pit road for tires and fuel leaving Kyle Marcelli and Bruno Junqueira to battle for the top spot.Junqueira, on double stinted tires, assumed the lead and never looked back.As the race wore on, the PC teams turned some of their fastest laps of the day with the fastest PC lap coming at the 2:29 mark when Braun turned a fast-lap time of 1:59:553.The caution flag waved with less than eight minutes to go followed soon by the white and checkered.Junqueira and co-driver Duncan Ende captured their second win of the season in the No. 9 RSR Motorsports ORECA FLM09.
“It was very interesting being out for my first time on the Continental rains,” said Ende following the race.“The Continentals were great when it was really, really wet.The brake instability and the cornering grip was really, really good.As it dried out a little bit it was hard to put the power down but the braking stayed really, really good and the cornering was really, really good.Really consistent throughout.”
Teammate, Junqueira, added that the Continental tires were, “really consistent.”
Marcelli and Chris Cumming finished second in the No. 8 JDX Racing ORECA FLM09 while Cheng and Mike Guasch finished third.
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